Patrik Diethelm sets a New Production Board Speed World Record! 26.11.07

On Tuesday, 20th November 2007, Patrik Diethelm broke Dave White’s production board speed world record established exactly 3 years earlier at the same event in Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer.

The new world record is set at 44.71 knots (subject to WSSRC ratification).

With this time the F2 shapers climb to the 10th position in the “ISWC 500m all time world record ranking” (including windsurfers, sailboats and kitesurfers).

Interview with PD:

How did this 5-month record attempt started for you?

I knew that the MOS period would start on November 15th. But the first warning for a good forecast still took me by surprise. I never expected to get a chance only 5 days into the 5-months period. When I received the email everything around me froze: I checked the weather pages myself and couldn’t believe how good the forecast looked – finally my fist proper chance – after 2 years of waiting to get it – my stomach cramped in anticipation of the next days and I prayed for that the wind would really arrive.

How was your preparation to the first attempt?

When the first warning got issued I was in Italy with Karin. We simply dropped everything and started preparing for the big day. Cleaning up the van, stickering sails, sanding fins…and starting driving towards the magic “canale” in France. We arrived on Monday. The wind was much less than the forecast predicted but I tried to ignore that fact…

On Tuesday early morning we drove in complete darkness out to the canal and started unpacking the van. By sunset everything was rigged up and ready. But with the flooded beach the timing crew took another good hour to set up the timing equipment. I was the first one on the speed run. In the beginning everything felt strange: my first time sailing port tack in a speed event, pretty square wind direction and somehow not so fast…

Your record run?

By about the fifth run I started getting anxious. It just wasn’t working well – just didn’t feel right. I took a little break…

My best speed so far was just around 42 knots. Finian and Antoine had both done 44 runs already – naturally on their special made boards for the canal…

I changed the set-up a bit – and suddenly it was much better: 44 knots everytime. As the record was set at 44.03 I just wanted to make sure I got it. Therefore I kept going round, and round, and round – and the timing board at the end of the run showed: 44, 44, 44, 44, 44, 44,…

Only the next day I learned that one of my runs was 44.71 knots.

Which one it was I really can’t remember.

What gear did you use?

I used the F2 Missile XS – the board I was using the most in the last two years in speed sailing,

a custom North Sails Warp 5.4 and all kind of different fins.

Because the course was very square I ended up using bigger fins than I expected – up to 24cm.

Your goals for the coming 5-months-period?

For sure this wasn’t far from a perfect day. I have no doubt that I can even go faster on my Missile!

But my schedule for winter is busy as always: shaping in Thailand, testing in Australia and hopefully another record attempt at the canal. Next time I want to try out some special made canal boards. I have a couple crazy ideas…

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